5 Rules for Student Leadership (guest post by Jeff Stafford)

(submitted by Jeff Stafford of Orange Slice Training)

A recent article from the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) reviewed key findings from a new book coining the phrase “Open Leadership.”  While the book is written from the influence of social media on leadership, I think these new Rules are applicable to student leadership as well. I’ve adapted them to fit the current reality of student leadership today:

1.  Respect that others have power. The simple lesson in this is that leadership is more about character than charisma; your leadership is NOT positional.  A traditional mindset of command and control leadership is going to go the way of MySpace in a Twitter-induced world.

2.  Share constantly to build trust. Sometimes leaders might feel they need to put on the “air” of knowing all and being professionally tight-lipped.  Be able to share information, responsibilities, and CREDIT. This will go a long way to build your skills as leaders.  People are talking whether you share the information or not. So be in control by sharing and not dictating.

3.  Nurture curiosity & humility. Only a fool thinks they can do this alone.  That’s the same fool who takes on doing a campus event all by themselves because no one else would do it as well or don’t have the time to do it as well as you.  Right.  And you will be the only one at the program that night.  Being able to be curious is about exploring ideas and not grilling someone for information.

4. Hold yourself as accountable as you do others. If you expect the same from yourself as you do others, you create an openness based in integrity. You do what you say you are going to do. And you make it right if it’s gone awry. You get to apologize when you know it’s not up to your standard.  And you make it right for you and those touched by your leadership.

5. There are no failures. There are only lessons in learning. Even in the example of doing the program by yourself and enjoying the band all by yourself can still be a lesson. When seen this way, versus failure, you provide an opportunity for others to take risks, live big, and share in your vision of leadership. Reread #4 if you keep repeating the lessons over and over, and see how you might hold yourself a bit more accountable so that they are not repeated.

Applying these 5 Rules of Open Leadership will allow you and your organization to build strong relationships with each other and the relationship your group creates in the context of the Student Life Experience.

Jeff Stafford is founder of Orange Slice Training – a company that specializes in creating learning and leadership events that are JUICY!  As a former Student Affairs professional, Jeff holds a M.S. in Counseling & Student Personnel from Minnesota State University, Mankato.  He is also the author of the upcoming book, Create Your Juicy Life.  Grab your FREE action guides HERE.  Connect with Jeff to learn more how Orange Slice Training can be a part of your next leadership event.

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